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Dimitriou Laboratory

Research group To survive autonomously, every single human being must control their movements in a highly flexible and adaptive manner. The overall goal of our lab is to understand the principles underlying flexible sensorimotor function.

A necessary step for achieving this goal is to build a better picture of the sensory information available to the nervous system. The signals of human muscle spindles are of particular interest to our lab. The muscle spindle is the most complex sensory organ outside of the special senses, with its own efferent innervation.

The aims of our current research include (i) determining the impact of fusimotor control on spindle output across fundamental sensorimotor contexts, and (ii) revealing the advantages afforded by spindle control for sensorimotor performance. To achieve the above we use several neurophysiological techniques, including microneurography to record from single mechanoreceptor afferents of humans performing voluntary movements in fundamental sensorimotor contexts. A bimanual robotic manipulandum fitted with gaze-tracking and a virtual reality interface is used for investigating behavioral implications of the neural findings, such as in terms of reflex motor behavior and proprioceptive acuity.

Selected publications:

Dimitriou M (2022) Human muscle spindles are wired to function as controllable signal-processing devices. eLife, 11, e78091

Papaioannou S & Dimitriou M (2021) Goal-dependent tuning of muscle spindle receptors during movement preparation. Science Advances, 7, eabe0401

Dimitriou M (2018) Task-dependent modulation of spinal and transcortical stretch reflexes linked to motor learning rate. Behavioural Neuroscience, 132, 194-209 

Dimitriou M (2016) Enhanced muscle afferent signals during motor learning in humans. Current Biology, 26, 1062-1068      

Dimitriou M (2014) Human muscle spindle sensitivity reflects the balance of activity between antagonistic muscles. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 13644-13655     

Head of research

Michael Dimitriou
Associate professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Medical and Translational Biology

Research area

Latest update: 2023-10-05